Terry Mortenson in Carlisle, PA

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Tue Nov 15 2005 - 10:58:22 EST

Last night I heard Terry Mortenson speak at Dickinson Law School in
Carlisle, PA. The talk went nearly 70 mins, followed by ca. 40 mins of Q&A
that allowed me to get in one question about the many Christian geologists
of the 19th century. Mortenson began with a lengthy segment that was a
decent academic lecture, about where/how the old earth position
originated--he traced it to 8 "atheist or agnostic or vague theist or
unitarian" thinkers, such as Buffon, Hutton, Cuvier, and Lyell (I had some
disagreement with how he presented some of them, but agreed with some also).
 He did mention some of the evangelicals (Hugh Miller, John Fleming, one or
two others) who held gap/day age views before really castigating the
"liberals" (those who did not take Genesis One as historical) and then
praising the scriptural geologists. At one point he sketched the decline
and fall of Princeton, using Spurgeon, Hodge, AA Hodge, Warfield, and
finally Billy Graham's former friend (turned atheist) Charles Templeton to
show everyone the inevitable result of accepting evolution. A highly
selective reading, to say the least.

Perhaps the most interesting feature was his opening with two scriptures I
hadn't previously seen used in this context: 2 Cor 10:4-5 "speculative" and
Col 2:8 "philosophy" and "empty deception". I knew therefore that somewhere
we'd see 1 Tim 6:20-21 "Science falsely so called", and it came near the
end. Lots of blanket, unsupported generalizations were heard. ("The rocks
really are screaming Noah's Flood", "Everyone has the same facts," "There is
no evidence against the Flood," etc.) The way in which he moved seamlessly
from quasi-academic mode into quasi-evangelistic mode was impressive.
Mortenson knows his schtick.

It would have been fun to have been given real time (20-30mins) to respond,
but that wasn't going to happen. I did get to talk to some of his followers
afterwards, and one or two were open to hearing alternatives.

Received on Tue Nov 15 11:00:11 2005

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